Posted on December 13, 2018
Since November, both North and South have blown up or dismantled 10 of their border posts. On Wednesday, South Korean inspectors visited each of the guard posts on the North’s side while North Korean inspectors later inspected the same process in the South. “This marks the first time since the division that the soldiers of the North and South… are peacefully crossing the military demarcation line,” the South Korean defence ministry said in a statement. Both sides still have more guard posts in the DMZ, both over and underground. This would have been unthinkable 12 months ago. Last November, shots rung out across the DMZ after a North Korean soldier made a dash across the border. Now the two sides are shaking hands, exchanging cigarettes and walking into each other’s territory peacefully for the first time. Seoul hopes that these small steps will be irreversible and it will become difficult for either side to backtrack on what they believe is a path towards peace. But the insurmountable obstacle remains – the North’s nuclear weapons. The US maintains it will never allow an agreement to formally end the Korean war, nor will it lift economic sanctions imposed upon the North while the Kim regime poses a nuclear threat. So yes, applaud these images and the progress that they represent, but it’s worth keeping in mind just how very far this potential peace process has to go.